Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!


Mr. Turkey usually graces our table around Thanksgiving time.  It's a fun decoration for the grandkids and uses a perfectly good pumpkin left over from Halloween.  Speaking of turkey, last Friday I took my daughter and daughter-in-laws, (I feel bad that we were missing my oldest daughter who lives out of state), to a cooking class taught by a master chef who has more initials after his name than I could count.  He taught us how to make a perfect Thanksgiving dinner, and then of course, we ate that perfect Thanksgiving dinner after the class!  We all agreed, it all was absolutely heavenly!  Everything from the best stuffing, to rich bread pudding, to fresh cranberry sauce, to yams that anyone would love, to the moistest, most flavorful turkey we had ever eaten.   He says the main problem in cooking a turkey is that it often is very dry.  I want to share with you his secrets for roasting turkey:  

  • It doesn't matter what brand of turkey you use, or whether it is fresh or frozen.
  • The first thing to do is rip the self timer out.  He says they are often set way too high, to assure there won't be any lawsuits resulting from undercooked poultry.
  • Use your own meat thermometer put in the thickest part of the breast meat and set it for 165 degrees.
  • Always roast your turkey in an open roasting pan sitting up on a rack in the oven at the oven temperature suggested on the turkey wrapping.
  • Never cook your turkey in a bag, or upside down, or sitting in the juices because this is a different method of cooking, i.e. braising or steaming.  Turkeys should be roasted as indicated above.
  • Now comes the most important part.  The secret of a moist turkey is to submerge it in a brine mixture for at least 4, but not more than 24 hours before you cook it!  The basic recipe for the brine solution is one cup of kosher salt and one half cup sugar dissolved into one gallon of cool water.  The amount needed will depend on how large your turkey is.  You can use a stock pot, a bucket or whatever fits so the turkey is submerged and the container can sit on the lower rack of your refrigerator.  If room in the refrigerator is not an option, you can use an ice chest that you have thoroughly cleaned or one of those throw away Styrofoam ice chests, put in the coolest place you have and keep ice on top.   When you are ready to cook the turkey, rinse then rub on your favorite spices, eliminating the salt, since the turkey will have already absorbed a significant amount of salt and any drippings you use for gravy will already be salty.
We are going to give this a try to see if we end up with a moist turkey that is as mouth watering as his was.  I wish I had time to tell you how he made dressing, gravy and yams.  It was all yummy!

Well, tomorrow I hope all your tummies are full of good food that you will be sharing with family and friends.  I hope you take the time to tell your family you love them and to say a prayer of thankfulness and gratitude for all the blessings you have been given by a Father in Heaven who loves you and watches over you.  And,


jennyfreckles said...

With best wishes for a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving Karen. Hope it's full of precious moments.

Ginny said...

What an adorable turkey decoration!! These turkey roasting secrets are great, it's like you took us to the class with you. And what a cool thing to do with the daughters!! I love your ballerina picture, and the way you turned your room into a studio is too cool! Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Robin said...

Yum, yum. It all sounds so good!
I'm looking forward to what you think of the turkey this year, using that method. Sounds quite interesting.
Making myself hungry here!
Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Don't we have just so much to be thankful for!

Lisa RedWillow said...

Your turkey sounds so good.
Happy Thanksgiving.

ruma said...

The expression is heartwarming very much.
The colors seem to warm the people like a fireplace. . .

Hope you have a exceptional Thanksgiving!!

Thank you.

bicocacolors said...

great and fun idea!!!
I wish you a happy Thanksgiving
from Spain

Hope said...

Hi Karen, lovely turkey decoration..
I pray that you and your family have a very blessed Thanksgiving.. filled with much laughter and smiles..
soft hugs..

Sandra said...

happy thanksgiving, hope your turkey is really really moist. enjoy

justine said...

what a lovely turkey ornament and you have made me crave roast turkey but I will have to wait a month for mine. I am looking forward to your second post on creating studio lighting at home.

Linnea said...

How colorful! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Lisa RedWillow said...

Karen you have a heart of Gold .
Your a friend to many and a mentor to me . Im glad you crossed my path. Your call to Action left me with so many thoughts . I have done a mother and child who could not even go to Walmart for her photos and yes I would do it again with the skills I have with people . They arnt good but Im learning and grateful for all you share here.
I hope your day is Blessed beyond anything.
and again Happy Thanksgiving.

Bare bilder - Pictures only said...

Nice picture:)
Wishing you a happy thanksgiving.
Greetings from Berit.

Loyce said...

Thanks for passing that info along, Karen. I'm also thankful on this Thanksgiving Day for having met wonderful friends like you through blogging.

Me said...

That was a great gift!

Scott said...

I like the idea of getting more use out of the Pumpkin, and this is kind of cute, though I'm not much of a decorator. My wife said a friend of hers has one like it. Clever.